Thursday, December 31, 2020

My Favorite Books of 2020

OUT OF 72 BOOKS READ IN 2020, EH!


"SNAP!  BHAM!"

NON-FICTION (RELY ON IDENTIFY):


FICTION (#READSOULIT READ-ALONG PICK):


MYSTERY (OF COURSE THERE ARE MANY, RIGHT?):

Thursday, December 24, 2020

I Did a Reading Thing this Year...

Totally caught up on the Green Rider Series by Kristen Britain.  Book #7, Winterlight, will release September of 2021.  Naturally...

I'M LEFT CRYING AND WAITTTTTTTTTT FOR MORE!!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

These Kids Are Getting Books for Christmas 2020

Allllllllllll aboard.  So my three favorite children (who happen to be my little cousins) are forever and always getting books from me come Christmas.  And this time I had to do absolutely zero questioning (well, a little sneaky question or two) concerning which titles they wanted.  

The going-on thirteen-year-old is still into The Last Kids on Earth series.  Easy!  The ten-year-old mentioned something about some Rowley Jefferson character.  Evidently Rowley is a spin-off from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  She never took to the Dork Diaries series.  Which I always saw as the girl's version of Wimpy Kid.  But what works will work, baby!  As for the eight-year-old, good ole Dog Man will seem to continue to do this year.  And, as always, when I go buy books I donate to the Toys & Books Drive.  This year, some lucky kid is going to get some Sailor Moon manga!


Anyway, the real question is whether or not I'm going to wrap these things.  I'm lazy, y'all.  I've been using the same wrapping paper for three years straight.  That's how bad I can be...

But my heart is always in the right place.  LOL.


MERRY CHRISTMAS!  AND KEEP THE KIDS READING!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Saturday Night Clean-Up

You know what this means...?  Time to clean up and get rid of some books!  What's going to make the cut?


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

TWO Up-Coming 2021 Black Mystery Releases...

Naturally, I have these books sprinkled all over my virtual book-buying carts in anticipation.  But just as a friendly reminder, here's what we all have to look forward to (all links are Amazon/author's website affiliate)...

Runner (A Chicago Mystery #4) by Tracy Clark


"Chicago in the dead of winter can be brutal, especially when you're scouring the frigid streets for a missing girl.  Fifteen-year-old Ramona Titus has run away from her foster home.  Her biological mother, Leesa Evans, is a recovering addict who admits she failed Ramona often in the past.  But now she's clean.  And she's determined to make up for her mistakes–if Cass can only help her find her daughter.  

Yet, it seems Ramona doesn't want to be found.  Ramona is holding secrets dark enough to kill for, and anyone who helps her may be fair game. And if Ramona can't run fast enough and hide well enough to keep the truth safe, she and Cass may both be out of time."

I am so, so glad Tracy Clark and her P.I. Cass Raines [see labels] is back.  Four years.  Four books.  And a thousand or so more to go will do me just right.  The only hard part is the wait!  But, as always, I remind myself not to rush life.  Cheers for another Cass book to start the summer off with.

~.~

Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery from Hallmark Publishing by Olivia Matthews



"Marvey, a librarian, has moved from Brooklyn to a quirky small town in Georgia. When she’s not at the library organizing events for readers, she’s handcrafting book-themed jewelry and looking after her cranky cat. At times, her new life in the South still feels strange...and that’s before the discovery of the dead body in the bookstore.

After one of her friends becomes a suspect, Marvey sets out to solve the murder mystery. She even convinces Spence, the wealthy and charming newspaper owner, to help. With his ties to the community, her talents for research, and her fellow librarians’ knowledge, Marvey pursues the truth. But as she gets closer to it, could she be facing a deadly plot twist?"

So as you can see, this isn't the official cover art for the book.  But you can bettttttttt I look for an update daily!  Because I can't wait to see what it looks like.  Anyway, while I most certainly will miss Olivia Matthew's Sister Lou [see labels] mystery series, I am thoroughly excited that she has a new release coming up.  Can I guarantee you carrots and sticks that this Murder by Page One is going to be good!  Trust me, it will!

Hope you got these in your carts/wishlist/paper lists–WHEREVER.  See you all soon for the next round!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

FINALLYYYYY! An Update on Marcia Muller's Next Sharon McCone Mystery

Soooooo, y'all know I take the time every other day to look for new releases from authors I love.  And nothing is more punishing than waiting years between releases.  So I thought Marcia Muller was done with her Sharon McCone P.I. mystery series, after 2018's release of The Breakers.  Low-key... I was panicking a little about the woman and whether or not she was coming back.  You know, given how we lost Grafton four years ago.  Grafton's passing was the reason I buckled down in 2018 and read through the entirety of Muller's McCone series.  And, hell, I finished the series excited for more.  Sooooooooo, here we are YEARS later (and at the tail end of this craziness of 2020) with the announcement of the next Sharon McCone mystery.  I, naturally, just hate to wait until August for it.  UGH!  Anyway, I and many Muller readers finally got our answer in McCone's 35th case, Ice and Stone.


"Private investigator Sharon McCone goes undercover to investigate the murders of two indigenous women in remote Northern California in this gripping, atmospheric mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

When two women are brutally murdered in northern California, their deaths are the latest atrocities in a surge of violence targeting indigenous women in the area. Despite all evidence to the contrary, local officials rule the deaths isolated incidents, and they soon join the ranks of other unsolved homicides, quickly forgotten by law enforcement.

Private Investigator Sharon McCone knows better, and so does the organization known as Crimes Against Indigenous Sisters, who hires Sharon to go undercover in Eiwok county, a tiny region on the mountainous Oregon border, to uncover the murderer.

In an isolated cabin in the freezing, treacherous woods, Sharon must unravel a mystery that is rooted in ignorance, profound hatred, and vengeance -- before another victim is claimed."

Amazon affiliate link below:


Me heading to the bookstore come August 10th, 2021:





Monday, December 14, 2020

Bring in the Monica Ferris Needlecraft Series!

Man, was that fast!  So, yeah.  That book I was looking forward to diving into from Monica Ferris's Needlecraft cozy mystery series is here...

Thursday, December 10, 2020

UPDATED: 2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

1st BOOK SHELF

*Updated notes as of December 2020


I’m making this list because I’m tired of myself starting a new series, while having a series I already need to read hanging around my shelves.  


This list will be used to help me stay focused!  Other genres in-between will come as well.

Mrs. Murphy Series by Rita Mae Brown


Book #13: Cat’s Eyewitness

Book #14: Sour Puss

Book #15: Puss N’ Choots

Book #16: The Perrfect Murder

(The rest of the series I’ll check out from the library)


*Got absolutely NOWHERE here.  Very unfortunate, considering this was once a beloved cozy series of mine.  I honestly think I just grew out of it.


John Le’ Carre Smiley Spy Series


Book #3 The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold

Book #4 The Looking Glass War

Stand-Alone: A Small Town in Germany (This’ll be my first read)


*Didn’t get anywhere with Le’Carre.  I started to read his stand-alone, The Little Drummer Girl, back in August.  Unfortunately, I got distracted with other reads.  Specifically that of Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mystery series.  In that, I took on books 4-8 and made progress there instead.  I also made progress in Margaret Maron’s series.  So there’s that! 

Suzanne Arruda’s Cameron Del African Series


It is vital that I finish this series this year.  I only have five books left to read.  The last two I’ll have to order.  Nevertheless, I must finish this series in 2020.


Book# 3: The Serpent’s Daughter

✅Book #4: The Leopard’s Prey

✅Book #5: Treasure of the Golden Cheetah

(I have to order the following two for my personal library.  Will not do until I’m done with BOOK #5)

✅Book #6: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace

✅Book#7: Devil Dance


*OFFICIALLY DONE AS OF OCTOBER 2020.  I buckled down and knocked this series out.  I enjoyed finishing it the whole way, too.  I will say the 7th and final book, Devil Dance, was self-published.  Not that this was necessarily a factor, but the quality of the series dipped here.  There was a five year break between books 6 and 7, and I suspect the author didn’t have the same editor as previous.  Nevertheless, I completed the series.  Going to miss Jade del Cameron and her adventures. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Last Month of the Year Cozy TBR 2020

I'm having one of those things called a READING SLUMP.  At least I think I am.  See the thing is I really don't have a reason to believe so. I've done enough reading (if there's a such thing).  ONE: I knocked down three non-fiction books last month.  TWO: I read two of Robert Jordan's massive The Wheel of Time books back-to-back (if you don't know the patience that takes... then chileeeee...).  THREE: Your boy got a Playstation 5 and would willingly like to take part in enjoying its usage after a successful 66 books reading year.  So, yeah.  Why try to make myself read anything if I don't quite "feel" like it?  Sure, lately I've been forcibly flip-flopping between several books, while slaying demon's on the PS5.  So maybe I should just chill out on the reading, right?  I'm good to go on that. Am I?

Yet, my day/hours/minutes/LIFE isn't complete without a book on deck!  I can be between books for a day or two before I'm upset!  And flipping-flopping to find something to match my mood ain't cutting it.  I did the non-fiction thing.  I did the epic fantasy thing.  I dabbled into the sci-fi thing.  What wasn't clicking with my mood? Meanwhile, the weather is getting icy.  The nights are long.  The heater is running. And I got my daily black tea coming. Then I realized I forgot about my cozies!  That has to be the issue.  It's that time of the year and I haven't pulled out my cozy mystery titles.  That, my friend, is my current issue. At least I'm certain.


And since I've been reading strictly (well mostly so) from my shelves, I've decided to once again put myself a Last Month of the Year Cozy Mystery TBR.

So here's what I've got...!



Wish my tail luck!


Friday, November 20, 2020

Final Non-Fiction November Pick ~ TURN UP


 


FYI: This book is EXPENSIVE!  I used a membership discount AND a coupon (y'all know I do those coupons)!  Oh, chile.  But I had to have it for myself. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Black Cozy Mystery ~ A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette (aka Abby L Vandiver)


Not much to say here, other than I finally picked up the first book in Abby Collette's (aka Abby L Vandiver) ice cream-themed black cozy mystery series, A Deadly Inside Scoop (released in May 2020).  I have the first book in her Romaine Wilder Mystery series I still have to get to.  If only I could get my cozy-centric act together these days.  Though, I can say with certainty, I am reading on the regular–if anything.  These days I'm mostly tackling unread titles that have been hanging around my shelves for a little too long.  This purchase was a product of knocking out at least five unreads during that pursuit.  Anyway, as we push closer and closer to winter (cold days/long nights), I gravitate closer to putting on a pot of chili for some cozy mystery reading.  Here's to getting my act together, and for the same for everyone out there who is hanging in there this year.

In the meantime... the blurb of A Deadly Inside Scoop from Amazon...

"Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she's going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.

To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It's not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she'll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown..."


Monday, August 17, 2020

FauxCast ~ CHOP IT UP: Goldenboy by Michael Nava (Henry Rios Mystery #2)

Been a while, huh?  I read this book back in March–as a part of #MarchMysteryMadness–and recorded this soon after.  I guess I just held on to this recording as one proceeds to tackle other areas of one's life amid... well... we know what's going on these days.  With that said, this recording is completely unedited.  Normally I try to clean things up for you guys.  This time I'm trying to get my mojo back first.  LOL.  

Anyway, enjoy!   I also hope you're all well.  Staying safe and motivated.  And refusing to give up on whatever you're reaching to achieve.



Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Just Going Lay This Here...

Author Valerie Wilson Wesley is FINALLY back at it again with an upcoming Tamara Hayle mystery.  Not much information on the book itself–other than it's the 9th book since 2008's Of Blood and Sorrow.  Very exciting to see Wesley's Tamara Hayle books coming back.  Though, I have to say, I hope this isn't the final cover art design.  I don't know; it looks all Gothic and creepy.  Nevertheless, there's no release date yet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

We Got Some NEW Black Mysteries Up in HERE!

Ahhhh, some black writers writing mysteries.  Should I scream once again on how excited one is?  I mean, I have been doing so up and down these blogging streets for over seven years now.  Ain’t a thing gon’ change either?  Anyway, here’s what I got.  Two released in 2020 (one as recently as last week), and a newfound series came falling into my lap.  For more info click the links below (they are Amazon affiliate).







Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Choices Indie Movie

So listen–errr, read.  I'm coming out of my "hiatus" for a bit to share this indie movie I was a part of.  I filmed the scene I was in last year, so it's exciting to see the results here a year later.  Now I ain't an actor!  So don't judge my performance to harshly.  LOL.  Matter-of-fact, pay attention to the deliverance of the pros' ability to tell this story.  Nevertheless, the film was written/directed/produced by an amazingly talented and inspiring friend of mines named, Tracie.  I was apart of another project of hers back in 2017, but it has yet to be completed in the face of this movie, Choices.  I say that because nothing is cooler than knowing cool people doing cool things!  

ENJOY!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Pick Up Some KitaCreates Jewelry

What's up, people!  So a friend of mines is creating these really pretty pieces of jewelry for sale; bracelets, earrings, necklaces, what have you!  I bought this one recently...  


Please check her store's Facebook page out at KitaCreates and see what she has.  I promise you'll find something you'll love, because everything she's created is unique and pretty.  She takes Cashapp and Paypal for her orders!  Easy.  Convenient.  Affordable.  Cute.   

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The 3rd Cass Raines Private-Eye Book is OUT NOW!



"Wealth. Power. Celebrity. Vonda Allen’s glossy vanity magazine has taken the Windy City by storm, and she’s well on her way to building a one-woman media empire. Everybody adores her. Except the people who work for her. And the person who’s sending her flowers with death threats . . .

As Vonda’s bodyguard, off-duty cop Ben Mickerson knows he could use some back-up—and no one fits the bill better than his ex-partner on the police force, Cass Raines. Now a full-time private eye, Cass is reluctant to take the job. She isn’t keen on playing babysitter to a celebrity who’s rumored to be a heartless diva. But as a favor to Ben, she signs on. But when Vonda refuses to say why someone might be after her, and two of her staff turn up dead, Ben and Cass must battle an unknown assailant bent on getting to the great lady herself, before someone else dies.

Cass finds out the hard way just how persistent a threat they face during the first stop on Vonda’s book tour. As fans clamour for her autograph, things take an ugly turn when a mysterious fan shows up with flowers and slashes Ben with a knife. While her ex-partner’s life hangs in the balance, Cass is left to find out what secrets Vonda is keeping, who might want her dead, and how she can bring Ben’s attacker to justice before enemies in the Chicago Police Department try to stop her in her tracks . . ."
What You Don't See is the third (and I pray to GOD not last) book in Tracy Clark's Chicago-based private-eye, Cass Raines, mystery series.  Amazon had me wait two days since it's May 26th release, but I got mine.  Heck, and it's right on time for the weekend ('cause I ain't GOT TO WORK!).  

So yes, prowling the streets of Chicago with Cass is pretty much all I need.  That and maybe a DoorDash and Instacart order just to keep me in the house.  Anyway, super excited to start this one!  Black woman private-eye for the complete and UTTER WIN, baby!  Y'all out there know how I getz down.


Call or text me at your own risk.  I may respond.  I may not.  It all depends on how deep I am into my reading of What You Don't See.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Faithless in Death's Cover



"In the new Eve Dallas police thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author J.D. Robb, what looks like a lover's quarrel turned fatal has larger―and more terrifying―motives behind it."

Friday, May 15, 2020

New Valerie Wilson Wesley Book & Series on the WAY!


"Odessa Jones doesn't trust her second sight. The extrasensory "gift" that her Aunt Phoenix claims will always protect her let Dessa down in a major way when she was blindsided by the death of her husband. Now, with her failing catering business looming over her, not to mention the possible loss of her home and continuing grieving, Dessa's last chance to keep her life together is a job at a real estate agency with a shady past.

With volatile boss Charlie Risko and a ramshackle operation, it's far from a dream job, but working at Risko Realty veers more into nightmare territory when Charlie is found murdered. Dessa knows she had a "glimmer"--or premonition--of death the day before, and is troubled to think she could have predicted Charlie's death. Her second sight kicks in again when a coworker is arrested for Charlie's murder - and Dessa knows for certain that he's innocent. This time, Dessa doesn't want to ignore her gift. She teams up with friend, former detective, and current barbeque cook Lennox Royal to help her track down the killer - but will her glimmers help save her before the killer strikes again?"
Get READYYYYYYY!  Release January 26, 2021 (as of now, I guess)


Monday, May 11, 2020

Muller & Paretsky Short Story Haul

Soooooo, I'm not that great at keeping up with short stories.  But shoottttttt I miss the cheeseburger and FRIES out of reading Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone private-eye stories.  And equally that of Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski series.  I've tidied up these series; totally up-to-date with these two iconic contemporary woman private-eye stories.  Now I really miss these author, and most certainly the voices of their characters.  So short stories it is!  

Saturday, May 9, 2020

New Society6 Journal/Notebook/Whatever

Yay!  I got my new journal/notebook/whatever from my Society6 Store today.  And, needless to say, I LOVE it.  Journals like these are the reason I started all this eight years ago–in the first place.  I was tired of searching for new journals to write in.  Only to find those journals featuring wildflowers, cats, puppies, and landscapes.  I wanted something featuring something of my own.  I guess I managed to make that happen!  

Anyway, this is called the "Ain't that Mellow Mellow, Jeremi" journal.  The name is from a song featured on the 1974 Foxy Brown score produced by Willie Hutch.  Yellow.  Mellow.  Get it?


Anyway, this is a side-by-side of my retiring Zazzle journal (I bought in 2016) with my new Society6 one.  As you can see the Zazzle is spiral-bound (larger as well), whereas the Society6 one isn't.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

"ABCD" May Reading TBR

Heyyyyyy. I hope and pray everyone is doing well and keeping safe out there.

So we all like to do little things to create a monthly TBR (given we've decided to make one to begin with). Especially to keep from spending hours or even days between books. And when you factor in today’s virus crisis, now is a good time to get down to reading with a bit of a charge. With a rhythm. With a nice, striding... pace. More so, it's a time to tackle unreads books (I know, I know) that have overdue property taxes on shelf space. Since browsing our favorite libraries and bookstores ain’t happening any time soon, it's an unfortunate but re-calibrating opportunity to play our reading cards. In, of course, fun and interesting ways.


So the first two weeks (or so-so) of May got me creating what I’ve dubbed an ”ABCD May TBR”.

4 BOOKSHELVES. 4 LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET BY ORDER. 4 AUTHORS-BY-LAST-NAME PICKS. 4 UNREAD BOOKS. BOOM!

My first shelf was my “A” shelf. Unread books with "A" last name authors. Alphabet order through the pickings. Let's go! Maya ANgelou’s autobiography, A Song Flung Up to Heaven, beat Margaret ATwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. True enough. Yet, I took a little concession and choose the latter. Why? Two reason. One: never read an Atwood, but read plenty Angelous. Two: because this is an alarming time to explore some disturbing dystopian/totalitarian state novels. And I’m going to throw this out there: Gilead (do your research on that). So let's keep it real with the potential parallels we all fear on the horizon. The phrase "It'll never happen here" comes to mind.



Monday, May 4, 2020

A Special Video Blog Exclusive: "Build Your Investigator" TAG


What's up those who've managed to read this. I'm doing something a little unusual here in two or three ways. First: I've created a TAG video. Two: This video was suppose to be up in March as my last #MarchMysteryMadness video. The lag has to do with me deciding to take some time to be "still" in regards to this virus business ripping up the world. And to spend a little time off BookTube to focus on just life (or preparation in this case) and family matters. I hope everyone is doing okay during this time. Stay safe and keep your prayers up! As for the TAG questions: 1. Name Your Investigator 2. How would your investigator get involved with his/her first crime/case? 3. What's your investigator's appearance like? 4. What's your investigator's financial status and goals like? 5. What's your investigator's background like? 6. What's your investigator's talents, skills and values? 7. What's your investigator's personality like?

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Receipting/Journaling/Messing???




I guess I can do this.  Bowling alleys.  Restaurants.  Crab boils.  Christmas gifts.  Out-of-town adventures.  Family-time carousing grocery stores for food for weekend cookouts.  Quarantine purchases.  

While I've skimmed on actually journaling everything I've been up to, I've been keeping receipts in the attempt to go BACK and fill in a few blanks–of some sort.  Instead, I'm going to be super cute (is this cheating?) by taping the receipts in order.  It'll be one of those late-night Saturday projects to get me on the path of journaling regularly.  I'm looking for a fresh start, beginning with buying a new journal.

Of COURSE, I'm going to buy one of my own.  And I've never bought one from my Society6 store.  Needless to say, I'm having a hard time deciding which one I want to get a fresh start with!


Right?

Right?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Ooooo. Somebody Sent Me Books...


What’s happening, all? Well, I guess that question isn’t exactly necessary in our current health crisis climate. So, in saying that, I hope and pray you reading this is doing well and keeping safe. I’ve taken this time to be still. Still reading, but keeping still. Not too much video making and blogging. More like be extra careful of my movements (as I still have to go to work), as well as keeping up with my family’s movements. There is much to say about these last few weeks but, for the majority, me and my folks are doing well. And I pray yours is too.

I’m here to share and shout out Elizabeth from the YouTube Channel, LizziefayeLovesBooks. Last week she sent me some books, y'all! Anyway, her and I have shared a BookTubeship these past few years. That BookTubeship came stirred by our connection in hosting #MarchMysteryMadness together since 2016. There are actual stories behind the book picks she has sent me. But instead of getting into all that on this rainy Saturday, I’ll share her latest video down below. Total appreciation for this.

      

So, yes. This was really, really sweet. And I can’t wait to read them! Folks are out here sending me books, man. How blessed is THAT! THANKS ONCE AGAIN, ELIZABETH!

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